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Informing and Engaging Communities Through Reentry Mapping

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Document date: January 12, 2007
Released online: January 23, 2007

The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

Note: This report is available in its entirety in PDF Format.

The text below is a portion of the complete document.


Abstract

This brief is designed to equip organizations with strategies for effectively disseminating local reentry-related mapping and analysis findings and engaging community members on the topic of reentry. The brief outlines key elements of the process, including enlisting the support and involvement of local stakeholders, developing a diverse and complementary set of dissemination methods, and presenting research findings strategically to create a foundation for positive community action. The recommendations offered are based on the experiences of the fourteen Reentry Mapping Network (RMN) sites.


Introduction

As the number of people being released from prison and returning home each year has continued to grow, communities across the country have become increasingly aware of the impact of prisoner reentry in their jurisdictions. Many communities are engaged in efforts to address the needs of returning prisoners as well as the families and neighborhoods to which they are returning. Analysis and mapping of local-level data on prisoner reentry can inform and improve these community efforts to address reentry, from the policy decisions of local governments to a neighborhood church's outreach to returning prisoners.

This brief is designed to equip organizations with strategies for effectively disseminating reentry-related mapping and analysis findings. The brief outlines key elements of the process and offers specific recommendations based on the experiences of the Reentry Mapping Network sites.

CRAFTING A COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY

Planning for research dissemination and community engagement should begin in a reentry mapping project's earliest stages. Three key elements will contribute to the success of a community engagement strategy:

  1. Enlisting the support and involvement of community stakeholders;
  2. Developing a diverse and complementary set of dissemination methods; and
  3. Presenting research findings strategically to create a foundation for positive community action.

The primary components of community engagement outlined above should guide the work of any local reentry mapping research initiative, and they provide the structure for what follows in this brief.

Note: This report is available in its entirety in PDF Format.



Topics/Tags: | Cities and Neighborhoods | Crime/Justice


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